Lessons Learnt

Lessons Learnt
A short story – but one that does not involve Felix. At least not in his usual home world. I’m sure he’d agree with it though.

Never practice magic when you’re drunk.

So you have a bottle or two of Chianti over dinner, when inspiration strikes on how to speed up creating century eggs and corner the market. You raid the fridge for half a dozen, gather yourself to the basement, fire up the old pentagram, and give it a shot. One minute you are standing there over your cauldron, happily chanting away those freshly-laid eggs into blue-black goodness, and then… buuurrrrp.

And suddenly your innocent black-market charm for ageing eggs turns into something else. Your wine-infused belch in the middle of incantation opens up dimensional portal, right under your feet.

Luckily, you don’t get sucked into it, never to be seen again.

Unluckily, something on the other side does.

The hapless get-rich-quick eggs are now spilt all over the pentagram, but you’re fairly certain that the rotten-egg smell comes from that tentacled…  thing, oozing ocher bile all over your basement floor and wafting clouds of brimstone.

Now, being more than legally tipsy you’re completely unprepared to dealing with visitors, but you’re no coward. You grab the broom from next to the laundry machine, and try to whack that thing back into the spinning psychedelic vortex it came from.

But in the duel of one broom versus seven tentacles and three toothy orifices, you are on the side about to become lunch.

Just when things look their grimmest, your wife bursts in on you. She has a sixth sense, always knows when you’re causing some embarrassing mess you’d rather no one heard about.

Eyes flashing white lightning, hair floating in a breeze that has no business inside a basement, a glowing sword of Ra in her hand, your beloved bursts in meaning murder. Having had only half a glass of that Chianti before retiring to bed, her aim is true and you only get singed lightly in the ensuing battle. You’re almost certain that it was merely an accident on her part, but that scar on your butt will stay with you for the rest of your life. Just to be on the safe side, you do a really good job in cleaning up the mess afterwards. You also stick to your promise never to use black-market spells in the same house as your kids sleep in.

True story, happened to a mate of mine. So learn your lesson — there’s no place like home, and we need to keep it safe. Now pick your beer and scrub the pentagram off the basement floor, son, while I go and finish the dishes before your mum gets back.


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